ISBN# 09619943-0-4 Hardcover – 137 pages Illustrated by Paula Blasius McHugh
“We were performing at a Christmas arts and crafts festival in Auburn, California one winter, and a woman saw our book Ruff Tales and told us a remarkable story of how she ran back into her burning house for her family’s favorite book, RUFF TALES! We gave her two free copies and said don’t do that again.”
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Ruff Tales - High Octane Stories from the Ruff Creek General Store
In Ruff Tales, storyteller Joe McHugh has gleaned the best of the humorous anecdotes, outlandish tall tales, and eerie ghost stories he has come across in his travels around the country in this delightful collection for young and old.
In late November of 1985, Greene County experienced some disastrous flooding after several days and nights of drenching rain. Many of the creeks overflowed their banks and, in some places, the waters covered the roads, making travel impossible. The area around Ruff Creek was particularly hard hit. The general store lost a great deal of merchandise to water damage when its basement was flooded. Worst of all, the underground gas storage tanks were also ruined and had to be replaced at considerable cost. It was some time until the store was back to normal.
Now not far from the general store, an old farmhouse had a rough time of it. It was completely surrounded by brown swirling water. Two young boys were upstairs in the house looking out of the window and enjoying themselves. As with most kids, the flood was an adventure. They excitedly watched as bits of old furniture, broken tree limbs, and even a neighbor's chicken coop floated past. The boys then noticed an old straw hat go by. They didn't pay much attention to it at first, until it got just below the house. Then, it suddenly changed direction and began floating back the way it had come, against the current. The puzzled boys watched as the hat reached the other end of the house, where it again reversed itself, and once more floated down with the water. This went on five or six times, the hat going back and forth in front of the house. The boys watched awhile fascinated until the younger boy asked his brother what in the world was going on. The older boy smiled and said, “Oh, that's just Pa. He said he'd mow the lawn come hell or high water!”